Sunday, October 28, 2012

After Silence

After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back  by Nancy Venable Raine
Weight: 8 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving on the book rack at Joe’s in East Atlanta

This may not be the best time to write about this book.  I have been battling a minor sickness the last couple days, and I am exhausted.  BUT my foster puppy, Strelka-Lelka, just went into a weeklong trial period with a very nice woman.  I am having trouble resting, as I keep wondering how it is going and feeling strange that Strelka is not nearby.  I have not written on this blog for awhile because I have been trying to keep up with my other three!  One for a shelter dog named Evan who was adopted this week, one for Strelka and Belka, and one for another shelter dog that is currently in training.  It is time that I get back to my project.

Needless to say, this book was powerful for me.  The author was raped by a stranger in her own home and there is so much of her experience that I do not share but, surprisingly, there are a lot of common threads with my own story.  It felt empowering (?) to hear someone else giving voice to some of my concerns.  First, that even years later you still feel the effects and that your life is irrevocably changed.  She talks about her self as dying at the age of 35 and another woman taking over.  I think about that a lot.  I wonder what life would have been like and remember the woman I was and how changed I am.  She also talks about comments people made to her that felt more huge to her than they were probably intended by the speakers.  I am always trying to think about how to juggle other people’s suggestions, jokes, thoughts, with how I actually feel and how I react.  I also appreciate that she discusses how expensive the rape was for her, while recognizing that the rapist does not have to foot those bills.  I remember first seeing my hospital bill.  I was infuriated.  I was lucky enough to have a good support system.  I do not know how one could afford to be raped if they were not working or were making minimum wage and had no one to help them when things got tough.  

I felt like I was in a healthy place by the time I read this book this week.  I am glad I did not read it right away.  I bought it months after my own rape, looking for answers.  I think it would have been too triggering then or even just six months ago, but this week, I felt like there was someone out there I could relate to and that would not judge all the things that come up that I sometimes judge about myself.

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